Sky Mascot can run rivals ragged
John Moore may have had an International day to forget, but a double in Sunday's support events ensured his stable has maintained great momentum, and the leading trainer can continue his run of winners with Sky Mascot in the first leg of the Triple Trio at Happy Valley tomorrow night.
Sky Mascot was nailed on the line by Diamond Rainbow after leading over the 1,200m city course last start and, from barrier three, looks ideally placed to go one better at his fourth start.
Jeff Lloyd takes over from suspended stable rider Darren Beadman and, after watching the videos, the experienced South African will know he can lead this field comfortably and run them ragged on the 'C' course.
Sky Mascot has now had three runs and improved in each, with his odds-on quote of $1.90 on debut suggesting 5the stable have had an opinion of the Show A Heart gelding from day one.
Manfred Man Ka-leung's Good Smile has drawn inside Sky Mascot in barrier one and may try to vie for the early lead with Derek Leung Ka-chun in the saddle, and as long as the youngster doesn't overcook his mount early, the pair could be right in the firing line throughout.
Oyster could be a surprise pace influence from a wide gate if Tye Angland and David Hall opt to bounce him out from the awkward draw but, even if he is dragged back early, he sprinted well enough last start to suggest he will be a top three contender.
Caspar Fownes and apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu combine with Go Legend Go from barrier six, and he can be expected to run a cheeky race second time out in Class Four after sprinting well down the Sha Tin straight first-up.
The middle leg also boasts a strong contingent of top three chances, with in-form Redoute Star, consistent Lotus Love and last-start winner Wonderful Gains all making obvious appeal.
Despite this, the lightly weighted improver Bumper Strike makes great appeal as a banker play, with John Size and new French arrival Maxime Guyon combining for the first time.
Bumper Strike steps up to the 1,800m for the first time after two good efforts over the 1,650m course to start his season - the latest yielding a solid fourth placing from a wide gate behind Nordic Star.
With those two runs under his belt, Bumper Strike makes great appeal from barrier five with 117 pounds on his back, especially with Guyon anxious to create a good first impression for the champion trainer.
Douglas Whyte combines with My Way from barrier four and the champion jockey will ensure the Caspar Fownes-trained gelding gets every chance to add to his earlier win this season.
The closing leg is sure to be a mad dash over the 1,000m, with course specialists Ever Beauty, Secret Of Winning, Supreme Taiji and Towkay Flyer all sure to inject some serious early speed.
Even on the 'C' course the leaders must be suspect at the finish after generating so much early pace, and the race may set up beautifully for the Sean Woods-trained Diamond Knight or Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's Impeccable, who will drop in for cover from the outside gates.
Golden Bauhinia drops back in grade with Whyte jumping on board - and the Fusaichi Pegasus gelding should not be discounted after he saluted in a similar race first-up this season at generous odds of 38-1.
John Moore and Jeff Lloyd have combined 22 times this campaign for a winning strike rate of: 18%